by Goodness Kayode

Developers: The Why and How to Writing Technical Articles

I posted a small broadcast on the need for technical articles to add to my publication on a Whatsapp group of over 200 developers. The response I got prompted me to write this short article. I have found out that many developers do not find it important to write articles and I believe it is not right.

As if I knew many developers wouldn’t have technical articles, I decided to add the last paragraph to the broadcast. To my surprise several developers messaged me that they needed help on starting to write technical articles and that is why I decided to write this quick article.

If you have write-ups basically technical ones and you want to reach out to a wider audience on Medium, please DM me with your medium username and link to the articles or article.
If you would like to start writing technical posts and you don't know where to start from, you can also DM me

To start with, it takes a lot to come out with awesome content. I know this is what puts many developers off. But at the first part of this article, I will talk about the benefits of writing technical posts.

Build Your Portfolio

One key thing about writing technical posts is that it can help build your portfolio as a developer. And it gives you an ample opportunity to be seen as skilled at what you do.

Another thing I feel has helped developers like Prosper Otemuyiwa and some others is the fact that no matter how little the tutorial is, they make sure they do something.

Help Newbies

Before you got to the stage you are right now, some people helped you get there through videos and articles. That is enough reason to write contents for other people to learn from.

Learn More

The more you write on a particular thing, or let me say the more you teach a particular thing, the better you get at it. Writing technical contents may involve you writing about an application you just built that gave you a lot of stress that you don’t want other developers to go through. Or you just learned a new thing and you want the world to know what you have learned.

Doing the above mentioned, helps you build confidence in what you know.

Make Money

Yea! Money is very important and you don’t get it by sitting and not doing anything that will add to someone’s life. You can get paid for writing technical contents. But before you get paid, you must have written some interesting content as samples.

I know a few companies that pay for technical write-ups. One is Scotch Development. This is not because they have a lot of more to waste, but because they believe development is a lot easier when you have the right content to guide you.

The Views

One of the things that makes me glad is the number of views I get on my articles. I wrote an article on [React, Babel,webpack and Webpack 3.0] and Codementor alerted me on twitter that I have had 2,000 views. And I became proud of myself.

I think seeing people reading your content and learning from it should be a plus to you.

Limited Restrictions

Few people invest their time in writing technical articles and it gives more opportunity for people who write to have an edge to getting something a lot of people apply for.

Auth0 opened their web application for applying as an Auth0 Ambassador. One of the fields for the application included that one could attach links to write-ups written. That should ring a bell.

HOW DO I START?

I get asked this question every time I talk about writing technical articles. In this article I will just explain how to get started based on my experience and other posts I have read on getting started with writing technical articles.

  1. Believe you can

You don’t have to be the world greatest developer to write an article. You can always write an article on what you are learning presently.

But the first thing is to believe in yourself.

2. A Little Step but Great Beginning

Many developers get confused at this point because they feel “What can they write that will impress people?” But I will always say “Start with something small.”

My first post on medium was PHP: BEYOND BUILDING WEBSITES and it was not a real ‘techy’ kind of article. I wrote it just to have something out and people encouraged me by recommending it. And I got an invite to become a writer on a medium publication.

That was the little step I took and now I have more tutorials out on Scotch Development, Codementor, Medium, @dev.to and so on.

Just give it a try.

3. Learn New Technology

The best way to have something to write on is to learn new technologies. Learn new frameworks you were not asked to learn and write on it.

Recently, I saw there was a new JavaScript framework without any tutorial on it. When I went through the documentation I found out how light and awesome it was.

So, I made a tutorial on it and some popular JavaScript Twitter users got to know about the article and kept re-tweeting and I kept getting more views.

4. Topics are around you

Some developers feel topics are the main issue. To be sincere, it is not as the quality of content is the most important thing. You just have to be sensitive.

I know Scotch Development has a section on their websites where you can get ideas of tutorials you can write on. Check it out here.

Basically, there are no new topics. What you have are differences in content most of the time.

5. Know Your Niche

To be successful at this game, you have to carve a niche for yourself. If you know you are awesome at building web applications, stick to it. And if it is mobile development, Artificial Intelligence, ML and so on, stick to it.

Because if you make mistakes that you shouldn’t have made while writing a tutorial, people will take you as a confused individual.

6. Be Unique In Your Writing

When writing, you have to be as simple as possible and free at the same time. Write your articles like you are explaining something to another developer and you want them to understand in simple terms.

You could always include funny GIF images, short videos, screen shots and so on to keep your reader reading.

7. Get Feedback

Brother! Sister! Don’t think you know everything. You will only be shooting yourself on the leg. Ask for comments and be open to criticism because you cannot avoid it.

Let people be able to talk to you about something not being clear to them via e-mail or Twitter.

8. Don’t Stop Writing

I shouldn't have added this but let me. Don’t stop writing once you start and maybe face a lot of criticism that you don’t know anything.

Work on the corrections and write more and it will pay.

Conclusion

I believe you must have gained something from my little mind-speaking article and I will be glad if you can share your thoughts with me on Twitter @goodnesskayode

I will love if you could read some of my articles on Scotch.io, Codementor, LinkedIn and Dev.to.